RAY Brown, one of the men who made up the team that drove Toyota from market also-ran to market leader in Australia, has died, aged 68.
In a 40-year career in the car industry, Mr Brown spent 35 years at the Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (TMCA) where, in 1967, he joined the company as a cadet engineer.
He went on to hold many senior posts in product engineering and planning and in 1989 was appointed as a founding member of the board of directors of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia. In 1997 he was appointed executive vice-president of purchasing and engineering.
When he retired from TMCA in 2002, the then president of Toyota Australia, Ken Asano, said of Mr Brown that he “had made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Toyota in Australia”.
Before leaving Toyota, Mr Brown had become an engineering consultant at engine cooling systems specialist, Davies Craig. He worked as a consultant with Davies Craig between 2000 and 2003 before joining the company full-time in 2003 for a further five years as its technical and marketing director.
In this role, he was a key contributor to many of the products offered by Davies Craig to the aftermarket and was responsible for R&D, sales, marketing and quality.
Mr Brown was a fellow of the Institute of Engineers, Australia; a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management; and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE-A) from 1976.
He was a past secretary and chairman of the SAE-A’s technical board and served as president from 1989 to 1991.
His contributions to the automotive industry extended into the early 1990s where he became a major contributor to the activities of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).
He was a member of the federal government’s National Road Trauma Advisory Council.
He was also the technical editor and a regular writer for the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine from 2009 to 2017.
Mr Brown is survived by his wife Cheryle and his children Paul, Scott, Lauren and Ryan.
By John Mellor